ICON 42 Schedule

Assuming I got everything set up right, I should be on a plane, on my way to ICON 42, when this post goes live. I’m delighted to once again be serving as Toastmaster for the convention, introducing and interviewing guests of honor Wesley Chu, H. Russ Brown, Sheril Harper, and ICON Mama and Papa Gay and Joe Haldeman.

Here’s my full schedule, for anyone who wants to come by and say hello. You can also check the programming grid or download the program book on the ICON website.


  • 6:30 – 8 p.m. Group booksigning at the Cedar Rapids Barnes & Noble (Northland Square).


  • 1 – 5 p.m. Student Writing Workshop. Every year, the convention does a workshop for local students. I’ll be doing a quick talk and a couple of panels.
  • 7 p.m. Opening Ceremonies.


  • 10 a.m Writing Outside Your Comfort Zone. (Part of Paradise Icon)
  • 1 p.m. Blogging Roundtable.
  • 2 p.m. Author/Artist Meet and Greet.
  • 4 p.m. Guest of Honor Interviews.


  • 9 a.m. Benefactors Brunch.
  • 1 p.m. Promoting Yourself on Social Media.

In addition, I’ll once again be doing headshots for folks who need or want them. It’s all free, with a tip jar that will go toward the Rusty Hevelin Collection at the University of Iowa Special Collections. There are still seven slots available. (Or there were when I wrote this.)

All in all, I expect it to be a very busy weekend, but also a great deal of fun!

New Short Story and Post-ICON Recovery

Shadowed Souls Cover ArtFirst of all, my story “Hunter, Healer” is in the urban fantasy anthology Shadowed Souls [Amazon | B&N | IndieBound] that came out yesterday. This is a standalone story, and I should warn that it has more profanity than the rest of my writing combined. Let’s just say I was trying to push my own boundaries as a writer, and to…experiment with the language.

The anthology is edited by Jim Butcher and Kerrie Hughes, and also includes stories by folks like Butcher, Seanan McGuire, Anton Strout, Rob Robyn Thurman, Kat Richardson, Tanya Huff, Erik Scott de Bie, and more.


ICON in Iowa was a good time, as always. That said, I think I need to rethink this whole “three conventions in six weeks” thing. I’ve just been feeling too overwhelmed and burnt out by it all. Much as I love going to cons, there’s always a cost — travel time and stress, being “on” for days at a time, and just generally needing some introvert time to recharge. So I’ll probably be cutting down a little on my conventioning for 2017.

There was much coolness at ICON, though. Getting to see my Iowa friends is always nice, and I got to spend some time with Seanan McGuire, Steven Gould, and Laura Mixon. (Sadly, did not get much time with the other two guests of honor.)

The author photoshoot went well. I ended up doing pictures for eight authors. It was educational, and I think we got some good shots of everyone. We also raised $84 in tips for the ICON charities. Woo hoo! Steve posted a photo I took of him and Laura yesterday on Twitter:

Laura Mixon and Steven Gould

One of ICON’s charities was the Iowa Raptor Project. After some confusion over scheduling, they brought in a pair of owls to do a presentation and Q&A. Which meant I ended up skipping out of a panel a little early — a panel I was moderating — in order to get some pictures. Which resulted in this shot:

Great Horned Owl debating whether to murder the cameraman

There are more over on Tumblr.

I’ll eventually get my con pics up on Flickr as well, but first I need to make progress on writing and process author photos and all that good stuff. Most of them are on Facebook though if you wanted to take a peek.

ICON Schedule

I’m Toastmaster at ICON in Iowa again this weekend, which is always a lot of fun. We’ve got Author Seanan McGuire, Artist Arden Ellen Nixon, Fan Guest Inger Myers, and special author guests Laura Mixon and Steven Gould. As well as lots of other cool people.

I’ll be doing something new this time, too. On Friday from 9-11 p.m., I’ll be doing author photos for anyone who signs up. There’s no charge, but there will be a tip jar, with proceeds going to the Rusty Hevelin Collection at the University of Iowa Special Collections and The Iowa Raptor Project. I’m hoping to have some fun with it.

The full Jim schedule for the weekend is below. Looking forward to seeing folks!



  • 1 – 5 p.m. – DreamCon Workshop (Preregistration required)
  • 7 p.m. – Opening Ceremonies
  • 9 – 11 p.m. – Author Photo Shoot


  • Noon – Stalkers, Trolls, and Other Bullies (Moderating)
  • 2 p.m. – Flipping Fairy Tales
  • 3 p.m. – Author/Artist Meet & Greet
  • 4 p.m. – Guest of Honor Interviews (Interviewing)
  • 8 p.m. – Monster Promenade
  • 9 p.m. – Round Robin


  • 10 a.m. – Blogging Round Robin (Moderating)

ICON Report

I’m back from toastmastering in ICON 40 in Iowa.

Shut up, spellcheck. Toastmastering is totally a word!

Anyway, it was a fabulous weekend, as always. The concom and the rest of the volunteers did an excellent job. My thanks, as always, to everyone who spent the past year working to make this happen. My only real complaint was that United cancelled my flight back home, meaning I ended up having to spend a half hour on the phone and then leave the con earlier on Sunday than I intended. My apologies for missing my last panel and closing ceremonies.

I took a bunch of pictures, because that’s what I do. Those went up on Facebook yesterday, and Flickr today.

Things started with a group booksigning event at the Cedar Rapids Barnes & Noble. That’s one brave bookstore, willingly taking so many feral authors into their midst, but it went well, and they now have plenty of signed Jim C. Hines books! Plus some books from some other author types, if you’re not into that Hines fellow’s stuff.

The next day, a group of us took a morning field trip to Riverside, Iowa, which is famous for being the future birthplace of one James Tiberius Kirk. As soon as we got there, a guy on the street looked at us and said, “The place you’re looking for is up one block and to the right.”

Marker for James T. Kirk's future birthplace.

Photo by Dennis Lynch.

There was also a little Star Trek and Riverside History museum, which included a woodcut statue of Captain Kirk, lots of autographed photos, costumes and models, and a collection of Trek tie-in novels. (They opened up that display so Joe Haldeman could autograph his.)

Then it was back to the hotel for Dreamcon (an afternoon workshop with some local high school students), panels, and opening ceremonies. I had notes for how I wanted to introduce each of our guests of honor. For Ann Leckie, I would talk about her work and all of the awards she’d won, and then mention that her latest book, Ancillary Mercy, had just come out. I planned to joke that this one hadn’t earned any honors yet, but hey, the weekend was still young!

Well, before we could even get to opening ceremonies, the news broke that Ann and her book had made the NYT Bestseller list! Geez, Ann. Could you at least let me get through my introduction first? (Also, congratulations again!!!)

Terri LeBlanc and Ann Leckie

Terri LeBlanc (Left) and NYT Bestselling author Ann Leckie (Right), each holding a can of refreshing Fiction Wine.

Opening ceremonies also saw the tribble incident, wherein we dumped a crate full of tribbles onto tribble-master David Gerrold…who then proceeded to tuck one into the waist of my pants. Ann dubbed it the Trouser Tribble. TT came home with me and now enjoys a place of honor on the shelf of trophies and memorabilia. (It also took a brief detour on the TARDIS.)

David Gerrold and Jim Hines

David Gerrold, me, and the infamous Trouser Tribble.

The rest of the weekend is a blur. I got to chat a bit with artist guest Sarah Clemens, though I sadly wasn’t able to make it to her theremin demonstration. I photographed several of costuming guest Kalli McCandless‘ awesome costumes. I caught up with lots of wonderful people, sat in a Delorean, ate too much food, and soon found myself wondering how the heck it could be Sunday afternoon already.

One of the most awesome moments was seeing Pamela Orth Webster show up at my reading, cosplaying as Danielle from The Stepsister Scheme. It was amazing and perfect and made my whole weekend!

Pamela Orth Webster and Jim Hines

Pamela Orth Webster as Danielle (Cinderella), complete with awesome glass sword. (And also me on the right.)

Special shoutout to Terri LeBlanc, who was the liaison from heaven, making sure I had food and getting me wherever I needed to go.

Feel free to check out Flickr for the rest of the pictures. As for me, I’m still in recovery mode, trying to readjust to the real world after a great weekend. All I know is that I’m very much looking forward to ICON 41 next year. As toastmaster, I’ll get to introduce Seanan McGuire. That should be entertaining 🙂

ICON Schedule

Tomorrow I fly out to Cedar Rapids, Iowa, where I once again have the honor of being Toastmaster for ICON. That means I get to introduce and interview our guests of honor, including David Gerrold, Sarah Clemens, Ann Leckie, Kalli McCandless, and honorary ICON parents Joe and Gay Haldeman. It’s a pretty sweet gig 🙂

If you’ll be in the area and able to attend, here’s where to find me. Or how to avoid me, if you prefer. Programming information is also available on the ICON website.



  • 1 – 3:40 p.m. DreamCon Writers Workshop.
  • 6 – 7 p.m. Genre Rules for Book Covers.
  • 7 – 8 p.m. Opening Ceremonies.
  • 9 – 10 p.m. Harassment in Fandom and Life.


  • 10 – 11 a.m. Author Meet & Greet.
  • Noon – 1 p.m. Human Rights and the influence of Science Fiction/Fantasy.
  • 2 – 3 p.m. Author Reading and Q&A: Jim C. Hines.
  • 3 – 4 p.m. Blogging Roundtable.
  • 4 – 5 p.m. Guests of Honor Interviews.


  • 8:45 – 9:45 a.m. Benefactor Brunch.
  • 10 – 11 a.m. Media Tie-in Writing.
  • 11 a.m. – Noon. Writing and Worldbuilding.
  • 1 – 2 p.m. When are you a Full Time Writer?
  • 3 – 4 p.m. Closing Ceremonies. (Assuming my flight schedule permits.)

Looking forward to seeing people and having a fun — and very busy — weekend!

ICON Schedule

Tomorrow, I’m off to the wilds of Iowa to play Toastmaster at ICON 39. ICON is always fun, and this year I get to pick on guests of honor Elizabeth Bear, Scott Lynch, Lar deSouza, and Megan Lara. I’m told that I should get Scott up on stage at opening ceremonies to read erotica in his gnome voice…

I’ll probably be reading my story from the next Chicks in Chainmail anthology on Saturday, for anyone who might want to swing by for that. My full schedule is below.

Looking forward to seeing folks! And for the rest of you, I’ll catch up next week when I get back.


Thursday, October 30

  • 6:30 pm, B&N Booksigning

Friday, October 31

  • 1:00 pm, Dreamcon
  • 7:00 pm, Opening Ceremonies
  • 9:00 pm, How SF/F Challenges Your Mind

Saturday, November 1

  • 9:00 am, Getting Through Your First Draft (Preregistered Paradise ICON participants only)
  • 10:00 am, Author Meet & Greet
  • 1:00 pm, Blogging Do’s and Don’ts
  • 3:00 pm, Reading by Jim C. Hines
  • 4:00 pm, GoH Interview
  • 6:30 pm, Art and Charity Auction
  • 8:00 pm, Getting Published
  • 9:00 pm, Things I wish I’d known before I started writing

Sunday, November 2

  • 12:00 pm, Beyond SF 101

Home and Cosplay Pics

Got home from ICON late on Sunday. We lost power at the house a few hours later. Yesterday was blackout day. Around bedtime, we got the animals to heated homes, loaded the kids into the van, and headed over to my father-in-laws’ house for the night. Approximately 30 seconds after we settled in there, we discovered that the power was back on at our house.

So I’m behind on pretty much everything.

I will say I had a blast at ICON. Thank you to everyone who worked to make the con happen, and to the delightful guests of honor – it was a pleasure getting to hang out with you all!

Also, check out the pics from Windycon, including my Charlie Brown: Monster Hunter costume 🙂 Huge thanks to Ken Beach and Bruce Medic, the two photographers who worked the con. They also took a few shots of me and Jackson together, which was awesome.

I’ve posted three of their pictures below, or you can see everything at http://www.squirrelsnest.org/windycon/.


ICON Schedule

This afternoon I’m flying down to Iowa to be Toastmaster at ICON 38. Which means I get to introduce and interview and generally hang out with their long list of guests of honor:

Any suggestions for questions I should ask, or particularly juicy stories I should share during opening ceremonies? 🙂

Here’s my schedule for the weekend, assuming nothing changes:



  • 1 – 5 pm: DreamCon
  • 7 pm: Opening Ceremonies


  • 9 – 10 am: Martial Arts in SF (Elm)
  • 3 – 4 pm: Fandom 101 (Elm) – Tentative
  • 4:30 pm: Guest of Honor Speeches/Interviews (Rosewood)
  • 6 pm: Art/Benefit Auction (Elm)
  • 10:30 pm: Bulwer-Lytton/Vogan Poetry (Waterloo)


  • 9 am: Benefactor Brunch
  • Noon: Reading (Dogwood)

Looking forward to seeing at least a few of you there!

Icon, Part 1

• Garden Ninja is holding a sale–30% off everything, including Goblin Quest miniatures (as well as their nifty new Schlock Mercenary mini)!

• I’ll be at Schuler Books in Grand Rapids tonight at 7:00 (the Alpine Ave. location) reading my muppet werewolf story and signing copies of The Mermaid’s Madness [Amazon | Mysterious Galaxy] and anything else you’d care to buy or bring.


So I survived my first Guest of Honor experience at Icon, and I’m still processing the whole experience.  I had a wonderful time and came away completely wiped, which I think is exactly the way it should work.  How cool was this weekend?  Let me put it this way: they brought me a shrubbery.

They also gifted me with a drawing of Jig the goblin, done by Kurt Wilcken.  Not to mention the opening skit, which included three of my goblins and my three princesses. And don’t forget that jacket in the art show (pictures below). Oh yes, I could definitely get used to this 🙂

Huge thanks to my liaison and fellow CatsCurious author Catherine Schaff-Stump, who spent the weekend spoiling me rotten and pointing out those annoying little details like the fact that it was 3:02 and I was supposed to be at a 3:00 panel. (And for reminding me how to spell liaison.) Thanks also to everyone involved with the planning, as well as the folks actually making things happened.  This was one of the better-organized cons I’ve attended, and I had a blast.

I’ll have more musings on the whole experience, but I still need to sort it all out and recover my coherence, which started abandoning me about mid-morning on Sunday. So for now, here are a few pics from the weekend.  (If anyone else has pictures from the con, I’d love to see ’em!  For some reason I didn’t get much time for taking pictures.)


Jim C. Hines